(Chapter-wise Summary)



Arjuna is confused because he thinks Shri Krishna has told him two mutually contradictory things: to give up actions (karmasanyas) on one hand and insisting on doing actions (karmayoga) on the other hand.  He asks Shri Krishna to clarify which of the two paths was better.  (It would be clear from earlier chapters that according to Jnanayoga, actions should be performed without desires of fruits thereof).


Only ignorant persons think that Jnyanayoga (of the Sankhyas) and Karmayoga are different, but those who have experienced Self know that they are not different.

But who is really a sanyasi?  Dnyaneshwar Maharaj gives the following explanation.


Such a person is effectively a non-doer in spite of his doing actions.

One who follows the Yoga path, attains the bliss of the Brahman very soon but one who cannot succeed in it wastes his efforts and cannot be a real sanyasi (renunciate).


In the following, qualities of a non-doer are explained further.


The Almighty God creates this expanse of the three worlds without getting involved with the act of creation.  He is not even aware about the creation and destruction of the universe.  He is therefore a non-doer.  Therefore, to say that He creates, maintains and destroys the universe is ignorance or delusion.

This delusion goes when the non-doing nature of God becomes clear.  Once a person is convinced in his mind that God is a non-doer, then the fundamental idea that "He is not different from me" gets established naturally.  (Explanation: Body then becomes an illusion; therefore, "I" becomes something that was not created i.e., the Brahman).

Once this sense has arisen in his mind, then he does not see himself different from anything else in the three worlds.  He considers the world to be as liberated as he himself has become.  Such persons are men of Knowledge, who have a sense of equability towards everything in this world.  They do not notice any differences between different creatures.


A Sthitapradnya is an equable person, the very Brahman personified. He enjoys the limitless internal bliss of the Self.  He is not attracted towards the external worldly pleasures.  He is not even aware that he is enjoying  them, because he is in a state of egolessness and oneness with the Supreme.

But those who have not yet experienced this internal bliss think that the realm of impermanent pleasures is the only real thing and cannot do without them.

How to reach this state

These persons reached this stage while still living.  First, with dispassion, they gave up the pleasures and meditated, concentrating at the point in between the eyebrows, with their eyes turned inside backwards while controlling the breath (Pranayama).  Thus, their mind turned inwards and through the state of samadhi (deep trance), they took the life-force and the mind upwards towards the experience of the Brahman.  When mind dissolves, all desires and ego also dissolve.  Therefore he who experiences the bliss becomes, even while still living, one with the Brahman.

[NOTES: Most spiritual masters prescribe meditation as the main vehicle towards Self-realisation.  Some prescribe mantra-japa (repetition of the given mantra) or Nama-japa (repetition of the given name of a deity).  Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi recommended different practices to different people depending upon their mental make-up.  Regarding meditation, he said, (ref SAICHARITRA) "To get the knowledge (realisation) of the Self, Dhyana (meditation) is necessary. If you practice it continuously the Vrittis (thoughts or tendencies) will be pacified.  Becoming quite desireless, you should meditate on the Lord who is in all creatures.  And when the mind is concentrated, the goal will be achieved.  Meditate always on My formless nature, which is Knowledge incarnate, consciousness and bliss.  If you cannot do this, then meditate night and day, on My Form from top to toe, as you see it here.  As you continue doing this, your Vrittis will concentrate on one point and the distinction between the Dhyata (meditator), Dhyana (act of meditation), and the Dhyeya (the object of meditation) will be lost.  The meditator will then be one with the Consciousness and will be merged in the Brahman.” He remarked that the relation between the Guru and disciples is like a tortoise and her babies, whom she gives nutrition from a distance by mere glance.  By and large most sages, not attached to any particular organisation, advise similarly.

Many people aspire for a mantra from a Guru, and think that it will automatically take them across to realisation of the Brahman without doing anything themselves.  However, receiving a mantra or any other instruction, like doing meditation from a Guru, is only the beginning.  The disciple has to regularly practice it.  As Shri Shankar Maharaj said, “You must not give up efforts.  If you have to appear for an exam, then it is you who have to prepare for it.”  Even if a Guru gives guidance and strength, it is your own spiritual efforts that make you progress.

While on the subject of  Guru, it has been rightly said that the reason why people seek a Guru is that they do not wish to take the pains of disciplined spiritual exercise themselves.  A typical seeker thinks that Guru should favour him by his powers, say by keeping his hand on the seeker’s head, to make him attain Knowledge instantly.  This is a popular misconception obtained from biographies of saints written by the followers and from Puranas.  Such people forget the hardships  the Guru went through in the earlier part of his life to attain the spiritual status and the Siddhis].




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Dr V. V. shirvaikar,                                     email: vshirvaikar@yahoo.com
A-23 Yashodhan Soc.
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Pune 411037, INDIA